As helpful as a good bartender might be, sometimes you'd rather skip the lesson on terroir and just have a drink. In an era when gratification equals instant service, a new generation of watering holes has sprung up to offer on-table taps, liquor-stocked fridges, and wine-dispensing systems that give imbibers almost complete control of their consumption.

Bull & Bear

At this upscale sports bar, patrons choose a domestic and an imported beer before filling—and refilling—their steins from a two-spout table tap. An electronic system keeps track of the ounces poured; the servers keep tabs on you. 431 N. Wells St., 312-527-5973;

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A one-of-a-kind discovery, this sleek hot spot has 45 mini-fridges stocked with everything you'd hope to find in a bar: Heineken, Ketel One, Prosecco, and plenty of mixers. Grab a key and help yourself to glasses, ice, and garnishes. Prinsengracht 478, 31-20-4221935;

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Clo Wine Bar + Shop

This cozy wine bar makes you feel like you're sitting inside a very entertaining iPhone app. Before heading to the vino-serving machines, research the 100 bottles on tap on a computerized menu that's projected onto the communal bar. 10 Columbus Circle, 212-823-9898;

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